Apparently I’m not in charge of my kids’ age…Father’s Day Reflections
It’s Father’s Day. As a father who blogs I felt obligated to reflect on that a bit. I don’t want to let myself down, so here are three things bouncing around upstairs right now.
My kids are not for me.
I don’t mean my kids don’t like me; they do, except when I tell them it’s bed time or make them do the dreaded chores. What I mean is that I need to work at not being selfish with my kids. They bring me so much happiness, but that is not their purpose. They are also not on earth to pursue my unrealized aspirations or to follow in all my footsteps. In regard to faith, values, and passion there are things I desperately hope I impart to them. In regard to interests, career, personality, and so many other things their job is not to do what I would do or be who I would be. (In fact, I pray they will be much better people than I am in all the ways I see myself fail.) My kids are an unspeakably beautiful gift, given to me by God, and so they are not here for me. They’re here for so much more than that.
I need to stop blinking.
“Kids grow up too fast.” “Before you know it they’ll be gone.” “Don’t blink.” Blah, blah, blah. The cliches get old, but I am experiencing these things at a gut level these days. My kids are 8 and 7. I could swear they were 3 and 2 a few weeks ago. I joke with my kids that starting with their next birthday they have to start subtracting a year, to which they reply, “You’re not in charge of our age, God is.” Touché.
Instead of bemoaning their rapidly advancing climb toward adulthood (though I suppose I’ll do that at times too), I trying to celebrate it and enjoy the ride. I love having an 8 and a 7 year old. It may be difficult at times, but I plan to love having a 17 and a 16 year old and a 31 and 30 year old. Do I wish I had more time with them as kids, sure. But I don’t. So I am working on enjoying each day, each moment, and thanking God for the gift they are instead of fretting away the years because they’re “growing up too fast.”
Now is the time.
There are things I want to do with my kids. I want to help them form good habits. I want to take some trips. I want to teach them to play sports. I want to learn what the world looks like from their perspective. Because I don’t want to spend my time worrying about how much time I have left with them as kids, I need to do these things now. I have done some of them, but I have to be intentional. If I’m not I will blink and my chance will be gone–and I don’t get a second chance at their childhood. Now is the time to keep trying to step up and be the best dad I can possibly be.
Happy Father’s day to all of you who have the blessing of being entrusted with children. Do not take the beauty of the gift you’ve been given lightly!